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Good time to view the Zodiacal Light

Good Time to View the Zodiacal Light

Fall is officially here and with that a good time to see the zodiacal light, and with the Moon absence from the morning sky for the next couple weeks it makes a particularly good time to get a glimpse.

zodiacal light viewed near observatory

What is zodiacal light and what causes it? It is a pyramid-shaped glow that appears in the eastern sky before dawn or western sky just after sunset. This phenomenon is caused by sunlight reflecting off the dust particles that move in the same plane as the Earth and other planets as they orbit the Sun. The zodiacal light appears brighter the closer you get to the equator.

At this time of year you can see the zodiacal light an hour or two before dawn in the eastern sky. Observers in the Southern Hemisphere can see it after sunset. Dark skies will be needed to see it, so try to get far away from the city lights.

 

By |2017-11-17T21:34:27+00:00October 10th, 2015|Sky Events|0 Comments

Draconid Meteor Shower 2015

Draconid Meteor Shower 2015 October 9th will mark the peak of this years Draconid Meteor Shower, named for the constellation Draco, where the meteors appear to originate from. This shower is also known as the Giacobinids, for comet 21 P/ Giacobini-Zinner, the comet that left the dust debris responsible for this meteor shower. In the past the Draconids have been responsible for some of the most spectacular showers, but in general they tend to be one of the less impressive ones. This year a new Moon will be on October 13th, making viewing more favorable.

By |2017-11-17T21:34:27+00:00October 7th, 2015|Meteor Showers, Sky Events|0 Comments